Acura has struggled lately, but Honda's luxury arm is looking to win back some buyers starting with the 2013 RDX. The luxury crossover has now officially started production at the automaker's East Liberty plant in Ohio, and the facility will be building versions of the RDX for both domestic and export sale.

The RDX will begin arriving in Acura dealerships in April with a starting price of $34,320 plus a destination fee of $885. The RDX drops the 2.3-liter turbo four-cylinder for 2013 in favor of a tried and true 3.5-liter V6 that promises 273 horsepower and 28 miles per gallon on the highway (for front-wheel-drive models, anyway). The new RDX will also receive a technology upgrade that includes an available 60-gig hard drive, navigation with voice commands and AcuraLink satellite communication.

The launch of the RDX is part of a big kickoff for the East Liberty facility, which is undergoing a $166 million expansion. We'll be getting our first stint behind the wheel of the refreshed RDX later this week, so stay tuned for our full impressions. Acura's official press blast about the announcement is available for your perusal after the jump.
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Launching its second major new model in only three months, the East Liberty Auto Plant today started mass production of the all-new 2013 Acura RDX. The popular luxury crossover SUV will go on sale at Acura dealerships nationwide next month.

Acura dealers, local community leaders and public officials joined associates at the plant today as the first mass-produced 2013 Acura RDX rolled off the assembly line. Also on hand for the line-off event was John Mendel, executive vice president of sales at American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

"Acura is a brand for luxury customers who aspire to the highest levels of quality and value, and the East Liberty team is going to play a very important role for us as we move forward with production of this exceptional new Acura RDX," Mendel said. "We know the East Liberty plant is one of the best in the world, as is evident by your high quality rankings."

Located northwest of Columbus in Logan County, the East Liberty plant was the recipient of a Silver Award from J.D. Power and Associates for its outstanding quality in 2011. The plant will produce the second-generation Acura RDX for the U.S. and export markets, using domestic and globally sourced parts. In December, 2011, the plant launched the all-new 2012 Honda CR-V, America's most popular SUV in January and February of 2012. The East Liberty Plant is the sole production source for the new Acura RDX and is responsible for manufacturing the majority of Honda CR-V models for U.S. customers.

"We are proud to be the exclusive global manufacturer of the luxury Acura RDX," said East Liberty Auto Plant manager, John Mayberry. "Our associates work hard to exceed the expectations of every customer, and as a team we are committed to producing the best products in the world."

In addition to the finished product, the engines and automatic transmissions for the Acura RDX and Honda CR-V also are made in Ohio, at the Honda of America engine plant in Anna, and at Honda Transmission Mfg. in Russells Point.

The Acura RDX also is an important product for domestic suppliers in Ohio and the rest of North America that manufacture parts and components for its production. More than 80 suppliers in Ohio manufacture parts for the 2013 RDX. Overall, approximately 150 suppliers in Ohio and 600 in North America produce parts for Honda's seven auto plants in North America. Honda's parts purchases from Ohio suppliers totaled nearly $6 billion in 2011, and $16 billion in North America.

The East Liberty Auto Plant began producing automobiles in 1989 and currently employs approximately 2,500 associates. In addition to the RDX and CR-V, the 1.9-million-square-foot plant also produces the Honda Crosstour for the U.S. and export markets.

In a major innovation of its operations, Honda is investing $166 million at the East Liberty Plant. Construction currently is under way on a 155,000-square-foot expansion for new door and instrument panel sub-assembly lines, and for the extension of the plant's final assembly line. Additionally, construction began last year on a 396,000-square-foot parts consolidation center. This center will significantly reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions associated with the shipment of parts to the plant, including CO2 emissions that contribute to global warming.

These projects are among the more than $500 million in new capital investments that Honda has announced at its plants in Ohio over the past 16 months.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 53 Comments
      guyverfanboy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Considering the cost of gas, there needs to be a diesel and an eSH-AWD option!
      Steve
      • 2 Years Ago
      that's one expensive can opener
      clearwater
      • 2 Years Ago
      This new Vehicle is going to be a huge hit. Finally Acura realized you can't build a car to please the vocal internet blogging boys. They want Super Handling AWD. They want thirsty Turbos. The primary market for this vehicle is for families. Many or most will be sold to successful women who want luxury, quiet, comfort with good performance. Look at the Lexus RX sales. Lexus knows their target market, and the huge sales success shows. This new RDX will strike a big blow to the Lexus RX sales.
        clquake
        • 2 Years Ago
        @clearwater
        The original intent of the RDX was techno-charged driving excitement for the boy racer who grew up and got a good job. This version is geared towards suburban mommies, a complete 180.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @clquake
          [blocked]
          Gubbins
          • 2 Years Ago
          @clquake
          Correct...and, as usual, the navel gazers who supposedly determine the target customer were wrong, hampered further by a mediocre product. Styling notwithstanding, this will likely do well since they KNOW who the customer is rather than conjuring one out of misty predictions. The missed their target customer on the Element by a country mile and then did the same thing with the original RDX. Oh, and by the way...it's ugly!
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        desinerd1
        • 2 Years Ago
        You should get a Santa Fe. It's bigger and better!
          • 2 Years Ago
          @desinerd1
          [blocked]
          desinerd1
          • 2 Years Ago
          @desinerd1
          @Mary Keana which is still better than 10mpg highway on Premium.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @desinerd1
          [blocked]
          over9000
          • 2 Years Ago
          @desinerd1
          That is what she said.
        carfan
        • 2 Years Ago
        yeah, well get another boyfriend then!!
      Jay
      • 2 Years Ago
      Is it seriously any wonder that Acura is struggling? No true flagship model until the new NSX actually hits the streets, and the last car they made that was any bit inspired from a driving or stylistic perspective was the 2004-2008 TL. Since then, their designs have become bulkier and more generic, while their driving dynamics have been tuned down to appease a target audience in a crowded market. From a stylistic perspective, this is Chevy Equinox with a new front end. It probably drives like one too. Straight V6? How about a light and peppy bi-turbo 4 like all of your competitors are turning to? That would be a start.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jay
        [blocked]
        Jay
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jay
        And as Dan pointed out, they got rid of AWD? So they can essentially kiss the northeast and upper northwest markets in the US goodbye. In my mind, the only way this car makes money is through its dirt-cheap development costs owing to the lack of new technology (hard drives and electronics don't count--those are cheap by comparison to an engine or improved AWD system).
          Jeff
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jay
          No, the RDX still has AWD, it just doesn't have the same performance based Super Handling-AWD (SH-AWD) system it had before. It now has a system similar to what the CR-V uses (Real Time-AWD).
      xichronoix
      • 2 Years Ago
      Eeeeek! I just threw up a little in my mouth when I saw this.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @xichronoix
        [blocked]
      Seph
      • 2 Years Ago
      it's nice to see that Honda is back on its feet again..
      navypond
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sorry but this looks like something from the 90's...
        • 2 Years Ago
        @navypond
        [blocked]
      Big Squid
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm still not loving that beak.
      CB
      • 2 Years Ago
      I had the chance to drive this vehicle on Monday and man it is great. There was also a Q5, X3 and SRX on site to compare. This vehicle blew those away when considering price, equipment, and size. This is a huge improvement over the previous generation RDX. So what it doesn't have the SH-AWD? The target market does not care if their torque cannot be split laterally. Nice job with this one Acura, look forward to the ILX.
        BG
        • 2 Years Ago
        @CB
        A large number of buyers who claim they need AWD really don't. Ever see how many AWD BMWs are sold in Florida? Great for the profit of the dealer.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @CB
        [blocked]
      Kevin W
      • 2 Years Ago
      I love some J35! It makes sense for Honda and Toyota to not trifle with turbos and stick with the tried and true V6. They sell their namesakes on "reliability," and being able to run a car for 10+ years with minimal maintenance. That kind of buyer probably isn't very interested in a turbocharged engine.
      dohc73
      • 2 Years Ago
      It looks like a dead-ringer for a Chevy Equinox in side profile. Silhouette, wheel design, and even color.
        AP1_S2K
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dohc73
        This looks like a dead-ringer for a Mini Cooper in side profile. Silhouette, wheel design, and even color.
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